How to add Chinese input method to Unbuntu 18.04?

How to add Chinese input method, such as Pinyin, to Unbuntu 18.04?

To input Chinese, first install an input method framework. Here, we use fcitx.

Then you need to input the Pinyin input method. You may use fcitx-sunpinyin.

Put them all together

$ sudo apt-get install fcitx fcitx-sunpinyin

After that, set the default input method to fcitx in Control Center -> Language Support to be fcitx by choosing ‘fcitx` in the “Keyboard input method system” part.

The log out and log in again. You can find the input method icon in the panel. In the configuration dialog, you may add the Chinese input methods there.

You may also use Google Pinyin 谷歌拼音输入法 with fcitx to have a better vacabulary database.

To install Google Pinyin, do

$ sudo apt-get install fcitx-googlepinyin

After login and logout, in the fcitx configuration panel, you may add Google Pinyin as one input method now.


  1. Hi Anonymous,

    What exactly is an input method? And what is framework? Does method refer to the language I wish to type, or is it a programing issue? Or does “method” refer to the version of characters I wish to use, such as Hong Kong traditional, Taiwan traditional, or simplified. I wish to input Taiwan traditional.

    I’m also not familiar with writing instructions to the computer. What “window”/page should I open to write the instructions provided above? Then I wouldn’t know exactly how to proceed from beginning to end. Do I just type that line, then press enter? And all is finished?

    After reading the instructions again, I guess method means pinyin vs. radical whereas each letter is associated with one or more components of characters. If that’s the case I would like to install that one too. Please help. Thanks


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